Lament

Categories: Pastor Blogs,Sermons

Body Life

All communities of faith need time when public repentance and lament are needed.

Perhaps you missed the response to yesterday’s sermon.  We looked at the paradox of a suffering servant from Isaiah 53, and what it reveals for us and in us.  We have a Crucified Savior – how then shall we live?

We felt like God was calling us yesterday, from the many potential responses of obedience to God’s Word, to come before God in lament and public repentance for racial sin and tension in our own community and throughout the country.

Below, you’ll find the corporate prayer we spoke together.

 

Lament Liturgy for Racial Reconciliation

 

Call to Worship

 

Leader: Let us pray

 

L: The God who calls himself the “Lord of the Ethnos ” opens our eyes to see his heart for the people of the world. To see they are image bearers of God. To see they are created for glorious purpose.

People: And we will see

 

L: The God of justice opens our ears to hear those who cry out, to hear the plea of the oppressed, to hear the lamentations of the weak.

P: And we will hear

 

L: In the power of the Spirit we will know the truth. To see God in truth. To see ourselves in truth. To see others in truth. To see this world in truth.

P: and the truth will set us free

 

L: Let us pray together

All: Gracious Father, Ephesian 2 declares that in Christ’s cross you destroyed the dividing wall of ethnic hostility. Jesus became our peace, and in his body we are being built together into the dwelling place of your spirit. Yet we, your church, we the new humanity, remain far from one another. Unreconciled. Out of step with each other, and out of step with the truth of the Gospel. So we turn to you, the one who has reconciled all things to himself, and given to us the ministry of reconciliation. Hear our confessions and our prayers.

 

CONFESSION

L: Let us join in a time of confessing our sins before the Lord. Respond together by saying, “Forgive us, O Lord”

 

L: For our ignorance, for hearts that do not break like yours. For when we dismiss the injustice done to our neighbors.

A: Forgive us, O Lord

 

L: For our fear of those who do not look like us. For when we harbor judgement and hatred in our hearts towards another ethnic group.

A: Forgive us, O Lord

 

L: For when we believe the values, accomplishments, and experiences of our ethnic group make us superior to another.

A: Forgive us, O Lord

 

L: For not recognizing imago dei in ourselves or the imago dei in our neighbors.

A: Forgive us, O Lord

 

L: For our self-segregation, when we settle for community that looks like us, sounds like us, thinks like us instead of community that looks like your Kingdom.

A: Forgive us, O Lord

 

L: For when we hate our enemies, for when we murder the oppressor in our heart, and thus share in his violence.

A: Forgive us, O Lord

 

L: For when we exchange the cosmic Gospel, which reconciles all things unto Christ, for a Gospel that is smaller, more manageable, a Gospel we can control.

A: Forgive us, O Lord

 

L: “It’s the Holy Spirit’s role to convict, God’s role to judge, and ours to love.”

A: We pledge ourselves to love.

 

L: We release the resentment and bitterness we hold towards people who have violated us, our families, our friends.

A: We pledge ourselves to love.

 

L: We release the resentment and bitterness we hold toward the broken systems that have marginalized our friends’ voices.

A: We pledge ourselves to love.

 

L: We will call ourselves to live in step with the truth of the whole Gospel. We want your Kingdom to come on earth, as it is in heaven.

A: We pledge ourselves to love.

 

L: We will call all wrongdoers and broken systems back to God’s right purposes.

A: We pledge ourselves to love.

 

L: Jesus Christ is our living water, pouring forth grace towards us who grieve. The wounds of our wrongdoing and the wrongdoing of others are bathed and forgiven in God’s healing love.

A: Lord, we receive your forgiveness.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

L: O God, who has created human culture and ethnicity as a reflection of your distinct-unity as Father, Son and Spirit; have mercy on us. O God, who bled and died and rose again to reconcile the fractured people of the world; have mercy on us. O God, whose dwelling place is that heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, where people of every nation, tribe, people and language will gather to worship you forever and ever;

have mercy on us.

ALL: AMEN